For more than a decade, Damien Jurado's songs have existed in desolate spaces along deserted highways, between bursts of stifled conversation, in the moments just after a longtime lover shuts the door for good. With his latest album, ‘Saint Bartlett,' Jurado has found a warm, cavernous production tone to match the mood of his minimalist folk offerings. The Seattle songwriter took a few minutes to talk about this shift in sound before his Saturday show at Club Deville.
Your wife wrote a lot on your website about producer Richard Swift's involvement with your latest album. What do you feel Swift brought to this record?
I think he brought out the record that I have been meaning to make since day one. He was just like, ‘Let's bring out some of these influences that you have for once in your career.' (We brought out) a lot of the production stuff that can be found on some of the early Glen Campbell records. A lot of records like ‘Pet Sounds,' or ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water' and ‘Bookends' by Simon and Garfunkel.
You've become known as a storyteller, and even on this album, you manage to weave narratives out of a few lines of dialogue in songs like ‘Rachel and Cali.' Do you have influences when it comes to writing stories with your songs?
I don't read fiction. I have no interest in reading fiction. It's a little bit of a sad truth. I used to be embarrassed about it for a long time, and apparently I've just gotten over it. If you went to my bookshelf in my house, I don't own any books by Kerouac. Yet, I own five books about Kerouac. I own more books about Bob Dylan compared to the one record I do own by Bob Dylan. I'm more interested in the authors themselves than their works. And movies. My influences definitely come in movies I see.
What are three of your favorites?
‘The Last Picture Show' — great movie. Movies like the very first Spielberg movie, the movie starring Goldie Hawn, called ‘The Sugarland Express.' Amazing. That movie heavily influenced my writing. Movies like ‘Buffalo '66.' You will see those movies and then you will say, ‘Oh my God, I get it now. I know where half of these songs come from.'
When you opened up for Austin locals Balmorhea at their record release party a few months ago, you played alone. Why did you decide to bring in the Saint Bartlett band, and what are they adding to the live show?
It would have been weird to put out ‘Saint Bartlett' as a record and then go on tour as a solo act. And for me, it was like, what band can I bring on tour to open up with me? Who do I love from Seattle, and who could also act as a backing band? The band I'm currently on tour with is called Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground. I wanted to take a band on tour that represents the Seattle music scene in every facet and form, but I also wanted that same band to be my backing band. They are perfect. These guys are incredible musicians, and I feel so happy and blessed to be on tour with them as my backing band.
with Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Tenlons Fort
When:Doors at 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Club de Ville, 900 Red River St.